Miss Julia Barry was born in Killeentierna, Co Kerry, Ireland around 1879.1
She was the daughter of Michael Barry (b. 1830), a stonemason, and Julia, née Savage (b. 1840). Her family were Roman Catholic and spoke both Irish and English. Although seemingly from a large family, her only known siblings were: Mary (b. 1873), Edmond "Edward" (b. 1874) and Margaret (b. 1877).
Julia first appears on the 1901 census living with her aged parents at house 4 in Killeentierna, aged 19 and with no specified occupation. Her brother Edward had emigrated around 1908 and lived in Yonkers, New York where he worked, like his father, as a stonemason. Julia also settled in New York and it is possible that she had emigrated as early as 1901. Whatever her circumstances, by 1911 she was a resident of Manhattan 3. She had returned to Ireland in late-1910/early-1911 to nurse her dying mother who, it seems, passed away in the Spring of 1911 and she appears on the 1911 Irish census living with her father, then at house 17 Killeentierna, again with no stated profession.
For her return to New York Julia had originally made plans to sail aboard the Celtic but switched to Titanic for a sooner crossing, writing to her brother Edward in New York to inform him of the change in plan and asking him to meet her at the pier. Some days before she set off she went on a boat trip on the lakes of Killarney. She lost her parasol over the side and the boatman took this as a bad omen.
Julia boarded the Titanic in Queenstown on 11 April 1912 as a third class passenger (ticket number 330844 which cost £7, 17s, 7d) and was the only passenger travelling from Co Kerry (the only other Kerry native aboard ship was the ship's surgeon, Dr William O'Loughlin).
Julia Barry lost her life in the disaster and her body, if recovered, was never identified. Her brother Edward later travelled to the Cunard pier in the hope she was among the saved.
Her brother Edward later moved to Chicago, was married and raised a family. His eldest child, born in 1912, was named Julia. Edward died on 3 November 1941.
Articles and Stories
Elizabeth Daily Journal (1912)
Newark Star (1912)
- Her appearance on the 1901 census of Ireland shows her as a 19-year-old and when she appears on the 1911 census she gives her age as 25. It is possible she was born as early as 1879 (specifically 29 December 1879), meaning she was 32 in April 1912.
- A Julia Barry, of the correct estimated age appears on the 1910 census working in New York for William and Almira Rockefeller. Whether this is the same Julia is unknown.
- Sources differ as to her New York address: one unidentified contemporary newspaper gives it as 14 West Thirty-second street, New York City whilst Senan Molony (2000) gives the address as 14 West Thirty-Sixth street, New York City
References and SourcesContract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Senan Molony (2000) The Irish Aboard Titanic. Wolfhound Press ISBN 0-86327-805-1